Mary Lyon Elementary School
Providing approximately 56,000 sq ft of innovative learning spaces for students, this replacement elementary school is a place for the community to gather and continue making its own history.
ClientTacoma Public Schools
Mary Lyon Elementary builds community to accommodate students and faculty
Serving 450 students with programs for inclusive autism, ESL, and pre-kindergarten through to grade 5, Mary Lyon Elementary School will provide dedicated educators with a collaborative setting, valuable engagement services, and act as a beacon of hope for this tight-knit but under-served neighborhood.
The three-story building and L-shaped plan preserve its valuable outdoor space for play on one of Tacoma’s smallest school sites, while an entry plaza both invites the community in and honors the school’s tradition of each teacher, parent, and student gathering at the day’s transitions for camaraderie and security.
A boldly-designed library dramatically spans all three stories of the school, and references to the Puget Sound setting are woven into the building’s architectural and site elements. The rich themes offer different layers of discovery and a sense of equity and empathy amongst students of various backgrounds. Classroom neighborhoods with moving walls allow for camaraderie, informal learning in shared areas, and flexibility of project-based modes of learning and gathering in this next-generation Learning+ facility.
Expressive and practical sustainability is embedded throughout the design, from storm water features to exterior sun shades, and roofs covered with large arrays of photovoltaic panels.
Awards and Publications
James D. MacConnell Award,
By Association for Learning Environments
Grand Prize winner
By Learning By Design
Crow Island School Citation
By Educational Interiors Showcase
Community Engagement Drives Design for Tacoma School
By Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce